Business LANDSCAPE Magazine Issue 7


It is our pleasure to present to you our seventh issue of Business LANDSCAPE magazine, a quarterly publication that aims to shed light on the Iraqi private sector, its challenges, developments, investments, and entrepreneurial scene and serves as a platform for the Iraqi ecosystem.

This issue is focusing the spotlight on the reality of banking and finance in Iraq. How this important market is functioning in Iraq and the opportunities, challenges, and setbacks it is experiencing. We delve deeper into the issue of missing financial services and their impact on the Iraqi market. While further investigating the issue and searching for the root cause of the problem.

Moving forward, we discuss access to finance as a concept and its current and historical context in Iraq as well as the available opportunities. We also emphasize the role of accounting and how 70% of SMEs fail due to poor bookkeeping and how that is reflected in the nascent market in Iraq while proposing methods to improve the accounting practices in Iraq.

Moreover, we share an action plan for stakeholders within the Iraqi private sector calling entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions, ecosystem players, and everyone else involved in order to push the Iraqi private sector forward.

Furthermore, we go over the challenges facing the venture capital ecosystem in Iraq from foreign ownership to the underdeveloped commercial law provisions, the lack of judicial ruling stability, and the proposed solutions.

In addition, we explore Iraq’s status in the global market, given the increasing political stability and lift of economic sanctions. How that helps in enticing many foreign banks to establish a physical presence in Iraq as well as foreign direct investments and digitalized financial services. In addition, Rabee Securities gave a rundown of the state of the Iraqi Stock Exchange market, detailing the trends and performance of the companies within the ISX.

We include two research summaries from KAPITA’s Research Team. You will read about the Iraqi banking sector and financial infrastructure, where we can see how Iraq is close to keeping up with the global banking trends and what are the issues that are hindering the progress of the sector. We also provide an updated version of the Iraqi Entrepreneurs’ Journey to give stakeholders, investors, researchers, and entrepreneurs a comprehensive picture of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In our series of interviews, Business LANDSCAPE spoke with Mr. Shwan Ibrahim Taha, chairman of Rabee Securities, who reflected upon the current state of the capital market in Iraq and emphasized the essential role of the stock exchange in building a thriving open economy.

Mr.Hussain Qaragholi, Founder and Managing Partner, Phoenix Finance Partners Ltd., spoke to us about the eradication of Iraq’s debts pre-2003 and how this reintegrated Iraq into the international markets, in addition to the financial technology opportunities in Iraq and their potential, and how to make Iraq more investable.

We also had the chance to speak to the National Bank of Iraq, who told us about their history, the financial products and services that they offer to the Iraqi market, the launch of Orange Corners Innovation Fund, and their interest in the advancement of the Iraqi entrepreneurial scene.

Business LANDSCAPE looks forward to continuing its mission to contribute to the growth and development of the Iraqi private sector.

We deeply appreciate and thank everyone who contributed to this issue of Business LANDSCAPE, and we sincerely thank the GIZ for being an outstanding enabler for us.